Apple loves to talk about how easy the products are to use, and iPhone gives an example of that philosophy more, perhaps, than any other. But just because the device has a low barrier to entry and is accessible to beginners, it doesn’t mean there’s no hassle under the skin.
This article is about taking the next step with your iPhone and finding all the things it can do that you don’t know about. From advanced Security to custom battery management and notifications, this is our 33 tips for iPhone users.
Speed up a sluggish iPhone
Computer devices tend to slow down over time, as wear, storage and memory components are filled with old files and forgotten apps, and new software is increasingly designed for newer, faster processors.
You can put off unavoidable things by following some simple best practices, including:
- From time to time you must turn off the device completely. It cleans up memory.
- You should also familiarize yourself with deleting apps and files that you don’t use (photos are common issues for storage) and archive the latter in the cloud and/or local backups.
- It’s also worth going through settings and checking which apps are refreshing in the background, thus spending valuable processing power.
- Update iOS on your device.
Note that updating iOS is historically a mixed blessing in terms of speeding up your iPhone, but with iOS 12 it has changed.
iOS 12 mainly focuses on performance. Apple claimed it would make older devices faster and in our tests it seemed to have done so.
More tips can be found in how to accelerate a slow iPhone.
Turn on Dark Mode
If you have iOS 13 on your iPhone (at the time of writing it is available as a public beta; it will be launched officially on September 2019), you can activate the dark Mode throughout the system very easily. It gives you all the pre-installed apps-and any third-party apps that have compatibility-black or dark-grey backgrounds that are more relaxed to read at night.
To turn on dark Mode, open the Settings app and tap Brightness & view. At the top of the next screen you’ll see both light and dark options side-by-tap the one you want to use. You can also set the dark Mode to activate automatically at certain times of the time, such as From dusk to dawn.
If you don’t have iOS 13 yet, there are still a few solutions. You can try Invert Colors mode, Low Light mode, or Night Shift; Each offers several benefits of dark Mode. Read more in our special article How to use dark Mode on Your iPhone.
Improve your passcode security
You can unlock your iPhone with fingerprints or face, depending on the model you have, but your iPhone is only safe if no one can guess your passcode. If your 1234 asks for a problem.
iOS now asks users to create a six-digit passcode instead of a four-digit passcode (this is how to change the six-digit passcode back to four digits), but there are more advanced ways to make your iOS device safer: using Alphanumeric passcode.
This means that you can use letters and numbers in a password, giving you a virtually unlimited number of passwords, different from about 1 million possible six-digit passcodes, which can be hacked with the right equipment.
It’s easy enough to change your passcode to alphanumeric code:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap on ‘ Touch ID and passcode ‘ (or ‘ face ID and passcode ‘ on the iPhone X series), then change passcode.
- When prompted to enter a new passcode, tap ‘ passcode options ‘ and select ‘ Custom alphanumeric code ‘.
- Now enter your new passcode. Make sure it’s one you can remember.
- Here’s how to choose a good password.
There’s also a new way to secure your iPhone in iOS 12.
This security change means no one can connect your device to your iPhone in an attempt to contrast it. It kicks one hour after your iPhone is locked (unless you deselect the settings).
- You’ll find the setting in the Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.
- Scroll down to allow the Access section when locked and you’ll see the USB accessory.
- Make sure it’s not selected if you don’t want your device to have access.
Create custom iMessages for calls you can’t answer
Sometimes this is not the right time to call; And while you can leave a call that you do not want to take to voicemail, sometimes you want to explain why you do not lift it. iOS lets you quickly respond to calls with a text message.
Depending on the version of iOS that you’re running, you swipe up on the phone icon that appears next to the Open slider and choose respond with text, or tap the button labeled messages above the Slide To Answer slider.
By default, you will get three pre-written options ( “Sorry, I can not talk now “, “I’m on the Go ” and “Can I contact you later? “), along with a button that lets you enter text there and Then.
However, you can customize the message you set up:
- Go to phone > Settings > respond with text.
However, you cannot have more than three responses: if you want to add a new one, you must sacrifice any of the current options. Tap the one you want to lose and type the new response.
Join a group FaceTime call
This feature isn’t ready in time for the iOS 12 release, but soon you’ll be able to take part in a group FaceTime call with up to 32 attendees.
To make a FaceTime group video call you only need to enter more than one contact into the Address box when you start the chat.
The interface is slightly different: the tiles that show each participant (there can be up to 32) vary in size and prominence depending on how new the person speaks.
Double tapping the tile brings that person forward in your view.
You can also launch a group FaceTime call from within messages if the thread is getting out of control.
Skip a call with Remind me later
Or, you can get iOS to remind you to call back later. Just like auto-replies, the way you do this depends on your version of iOS: Most likely, you tap the Remind Me button on top of the slide, but in earlier versions you have to swipe up before you can choose remind me later.
You can choose to be reminded in an hour, ‘ when I go ‘ or (if applicable) ‘ When I arrive home ‘. Make sure your address details are up to date in Contacts, so your iPhone knows where the home is. The timing will be based on your GPS movements.
Create custom ringtones and alert tones in iTunes or GarageBand
You can create ringtones for your iPhone based on any music track in your iTunes library. We saw this in depth here, but to conclude: Create a duplicate version of the short track, sub-30 seconds; Conversion of this track file type from. m4a to. m4r; Importing the tracks back into iTunes as ringtone; Synchronize the ringtone with your iPhone.
Better yet, you can create unique special iPhone ringtones from your own audio creations, and it’s very user friendly if you’re doing a creative job on the iPhone itself. Create 30-second tracks in GarageBand; Open the Share option and select Ringtone; Then assign it to a contact or notification.
How to set a custom vibration on your iPhone
Want to know who is calling you without removing your phone? It’s easy-assign ringtones to contacts. But what about doing everything quietly? Not only can you set a custom ringtone or text tone to a contact, you can even give them a special vibration pattern.
- Go to phone or contacts.
- Select a contact.
- Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner.
- Scroll down to find the ringtone field; Underneath it is the vibration terrain.
- Tap Vibration and you’ll see an assortment of built-in vibration patterns that you can choose from.
- Further down is the ability to add custom patterns: Tap Create new vibration, and you can tap the screen to create your own rhythm.
When you’re satisfied (tap the play button to see what it’s like), tap Save to set the pattern.
If that’s not enough, go back to the contact and set also a special vibration pattern for the text message.
Control Center Customization
It’s been a long time coming, but in iOS 11 Apple finally allowed us to customize the toggle and options that appeared in the Control Center.
Go to control Center > Settings > customize controls. The controls that will appear are listed above, below the include heading; Tap the red minus sign to remove one, or tap and hold to drag them around and change the order.
The available controls that are currently excluded are listed below, under the heading more control. Tap the green plus sign to add one.
Customize your Animoji
IPhone Owners X Series (X, XS, XS Max, and XR) will already enjoy the fun of Animoji: animated face catches that you can create and send to your friends.
But you know, since the launch of iOS 12, you can already create your own Animoji? It’s called Memoji, and they can look like you, or your favorite celebrities, or just about everyone you choose.
When sending Animoji, the first stage is choosing dogs, robots, chickens, dirt etc. But if you go to the far left of this option panel you will see a plus sign with the new Memoji words underneath. Tap this and you will walk through the (many) steps of customization available to you.
Save battery with low power Mode
Whenever your iPhone drops below 20 percent of power, a message will appear to warn you of this fact and offer to start low power Mode. But you can use this practical mode anytime you want your battery to last longer.
- Switch to low power Mode by tapping > Battery > low power Mode setting.
Low power Mode reduces power consumption by shutting down some iPhone features. For example, this will reduce the animation, reducing the time before the screen darkens, taking more rare mail, turning off Hey Siri and the Background app Refresh… In general, every effort to increase your battery life is slightly longer.
You may not see the difference (though you may not get important emails or social media messages unless you check them out). Overall, the iPhone works as usual and the battery will last longer.
Maximize battery life
Speaking of adding battery life, you can check the battery usage on your iOS device to see if your own behavior can improve the situation.
Apple lets you see which apps use the most battery on your device.
- Open Battery > settings.
Scroll down the page to the section that shows the last 24 hours, and last 4 days.
Here you’ll see details about which apps use the most battery.
Apple also offers insights and suggestions to help you save battery life in the section above. This could include rejecting screen brightness, or activating automatic locks.
Shake to cancel
This one can be a little awkward at times but it can be a little lifesaver.
If you’ve just typed in a long sentence and accidentally deleted it, or made some other major mistake, you can shake your iPhone to bring up the Undo/Redo dialog box.
Make sure you hold your iPhone tightly before shake!
Just scroll down a very long list in Notes, or work your way through multiple emails? Instead of painstakingly scrolling back to the top, you can jump right there by tapping at the very top of the iPhone screen.
We rank this tip with a full double space stop: This is pretty well known, but for everyone this is a game changer.
And it’s not just Notes and Mail; Tap up the job in most iPhone apps. Some apps, cleverly, offer the cancellation of this function, in case you tap on it accidentally and lose your place in a long article. An excellent instapaper raises the Return to Position command, for example – and if the menu bar has disappeared you should tap the top of the screen twice to activate the feature in the first place.
Experiments to see if the apps you’re using offer some other variation or the evolution of this handy feature.
Set Do Not Disturb
Do you use the Do Not Disturb feature? It’s perfect for isolating you from distractions where you’re trying to work, or sleeping.
Do not disturb can be enabled from Control center; Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the Crescent icon.
The matched moon icon will then appear in the top bar of your iPhone screen. With Do not disturb enabled, incoming calls and warnings will be silenced.
For a more advanced range of options, go to Settings > do not disturb; This includes ability (under the scheduled label) to set a ‘ quiet hour ‘ every day or night. You can also allow exceptions: people who will be allowed to contact you even with this mode enabled.
And in iOS 12 it is now possible to set Do Not Disturb for a one-time event, not at the same time every day.
To do so, firmly press the Crescent icon in control center and select from the option: for 1 hour, until tonight, until I leave this location.
Do not disturb while driving
Do Not Disturb has several fashion variants, such as Do Not Disturb During Bedtime in an iOS 12 update. But the most notable was the version introduced in iOS 11 to reduce distractions while driving. It block incoming notifications (but you can set automatic replies for selected contacts only along the line “I’m driving now, will get back to you in a little “) and block phone calls too, unless you Have a hands-free kit.
- Go to > Do not disturb settings and then, under Do not disturb while driving, tap activate.
You’ll notice there are three settings: automatically (that tries to work when you’re driving with your movements, and that we don’t recommend, given the number of times we saw this activated on the train), When Connected to Bluetooth car, and Manually. Choose which option suits you best.
Return to the Do Not Disturb settings page and you will see the automatic replies at the bottom of the screen. Choose who you want to get this reply to, and edit the replies by tapping Auto answer and then tap the message.
Take photos while recording a video
You use Your iPhone to record magical moments, and hope you can take photos at the same time. Don’t Stop recording! Just tap the camera button, which appears on the screen other than the shutter button while you are recording.
You don’t use the iPhone’s original photo sensor; You get a slightly less impressive video sensor. But the photos still need to be good.
If you have an iPhone 8 Plus, an iPhone X, an iPhone XS, or XS Max, you can access photography features called Portrait Lighting (XR has some features of Portrait lighting, but not all). We found portrait lighting a little inconsistent, but can sometimes result in some interesting effects with little effort.
Open the camera app, and slide across the bottom rotating menu so you’re in portrait Mode.
Right above this label you will see a hexagonal icon and natural light label, indicating that you will take a standard portrait Mode shot, with a bokeh background that is arty. Very good.
If you tap the Natural Light icon, it will appear a little bit and you’ll see it in a circular menu. Swipe across and you can scroll through four other options: Studio Light, which illuminates the face of the subject and other ‘ high points ‘ and is generally the most reliable mode; Contour Light, which darkens the shadow and sometimes produces a good effect, but often makes people look messy or unshaved; and two Stage Light versions (color and mono), which cut the subject and place it on a dark background.
The effect of Portrait Lighting is slightly better in iOS 12, but we still find a slightly unreliable mono mode when it comes to curly hair.
Note that you do not have to apply this effect when or before taking a shot. Open any photo that has a portrait label in the top left, and you’ll be able to apply it retrospectively. Tap Edit, then tap the hexagon icon and you’ll be able to search for options like the above.
New features on iPhone XS and XS Max allow you to set the blur after taking a picture.
This is made possible by splitting layers in photos. When we test iPhone XS, we’ll tell you how it works.
Switch direction in Panorama mode
You can change the direction of a Panorama photo in the camera app by tapping the arrow that appears in the middle of the screen in Panorama mode.
Use your headphones for selfies
Selfie continues to be a rage, as we’re sure you notice, but if your selfie quality is a concern, try these practical tricks.
The proportion of owners of a good iPhone knows that you can activate the camera shutter by pressing one of the volume buttons (volume up or down volume-no matter which) instead of the buttons on the screen. This tends to result in fewer camera shocks.
But a better choice for selfies-and that is not much known-is to use the volume buttons on a pair of headphones installed.
When the camera app opens on your iPhone, you can use the volume keys on a pair of built-in headphones to take photos. This not only reduces shocks even more than using the iPhone volume knob, but also means you can take photos that appear more natural remotely or take photos with a handsfree.
Make iPhone safe for kids
Kids love the iPhone-maybe a little better for them. But there are a few steps you can take to ensure that children don’t access inappropriate content on their devices.
Go to General > Settings > Restrictions and you can restrict access to certain apps, block in-app purchases, and set age ranges for matched content. All of this is covered in how to set parental Controls on Your iPhone.
You should also see the possibility of family sharing, a feature that lets you share apps and content between your family’s devices without having to pay more than once.
The arrival of iOS 12 will bring further parental control in the form of Screen Time, which allows you to set ‘ allowances ‘ for use of certain applications or categories of applications, warnings when time is low and eventually blocked. (They can ask for extra time, but you will get the final decision.)
Stop Addicted to iPhone
Speaking of screen time, this is a new feature in iOS 12 that can help you not get too addicted to Your iPhone.
- To see how much time you’re waiting on Your iPhone, open screen time > settings.
Here you’ll find details about how long you use each app, how often you see your phone, and which apps you use the most.
Tap your device at the top to see the screen time grouping. You can see the details for today, or during the last seven days.
You can set up downtime, with only certain apps available between certain hours, say after 9 pm. You will get a reminder just before the downtime starts. You can decide which apps are allowed during downtime in the Always allowed section.
It is also possible to set application limits (although this limit is reset every day at midnight). For example, you can restrict your social networking applications so that you can only use it for an hour today.
You can set the screen time password to use when you need more than a few minutes.
Quickly add symbols
You may have been using the iPhone keyboard for a long time without realizing that it is actually easier than you think to add a symbol to your message.
Instead of tapping once on the 123 button, once on the symbol you selected and then again on the ABC button to return to the conventional keyboard layout, you can do everything in one gesture.
Tap and hold the 123 button, slide your finger to select the symbol you want to insert, then release it. Once added, your keyboard will automatically revert to the font keyboard. One tap instead of three: it was a serious time-saving there.
Oh, and while we’re talking symbols: Hold your finger on letters or symbols for a second or two and you’ll see alternate (usually related) symbols that the buttons can offer. The dollar key also offers pound symbols, euros and yen, for example. If you often type letters with accents, it’s also a quick and easy way to view accented options.
There are many additional symbols hidden inside your keyboard that you may have never found. Experiment!
If you’re using iOS 11 or later, you can use a system keyboard designed to be used with one hand (and only one thumb in that hand, realistically).
- Go to General > Settings > Keyboard, and tap hand keyboard. Select left or right.
Correct text replacement customizations automatically
Keyboard QuickType System-wide smart iOS in guessing what you are trying to write, and in many situations will automatically fix the screed that you type clunky into something much more accurate.
However, it will get better when you start adjusting it so that it knows your own personal favorite shortcuts and abbreviations and the complete phrase you want to expand the abbreviation.
You may decide that “OMG ” should be changed to “Oh my God”, for example. “OMW ” should be “on the Go “. And so on.
Easily set up private shortcuts:
- Go to General > settings, scroll down and tap Keyboard.
- Select text replacement. You’ll see what text changes you’ve currently set.
- To add a new one, tap the plus sign. Enter the complete phrase you want ( “MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar ” may be good for tech journalists), a short version that you want to develop into a longer phrase (“MBP “, say), and tap Save.
Never fill in your password, address or account info
If you want to save time and also benefit from not having to remember your password or account information, make sure you turn on autofill.
Your IPhone, iPad, and even Mac can be used to automatically enter your name, address, email, phone number, password, and more.
- Go to > Safari > Autofill settings.
- You should make sure that the information you want to fill is entered correctly on your phone in various places-read this article for help setting passwords, bank cards, names, and addresses so that they can be refilled automatically on your iPhone.
Lastly, on iOS 12 or later, when the security code arrives in a text message, it will automatically be available as Autofill suggestion – so you don’t even need to open the Messages app to see the code.
There is a thesaurus option on iOS, but you need to enable it. To do this, go to > General > dictionary settings. Now select British English “Oxford Thesaurus of English ” (or if you are American, “Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus “).
While you’re here, you can download translations, such as French-English and Spanish-English as well.
Now select the word by tapping it.
Choose View from the options (you may need to press the arrows to reveal additional options). You’ll now see alternate word suggestions, as well as dictionary definitions.
Although not universally supported, you can use rich formatting across a number of iOS apps including Mail, Notes and third-party apps like WhatsApp to make certain parts of the text stand out. But despite being easy to use, it’s also very easy to miss.
Just open the app that supports rich formatting, highlight the text you want to edit by double-tapping and select the Formatting menu, labeled BIU.
From there, simply select the effect you want and it will apply to the selected text.
Tap the arrows on the right to see additional effects such as viewable text.
Quick Delete in the calculator app
If you use a calculator app frequently, you may like this time-saving and practical trick.
The calculator app, like a real-world calculator, doesn’t have a delete button, which can be annoying if you’ve just typed a long number and made a mistake right at the end.
Fortunately you can swipe the numbers in the black area at the top-left or right, it does not matter-and for each friction, one digit will be removed from the tip of the image
Stop music with a timer
This is a cool trick for those of you who enjoy music. The problem with it is that it will still play when you wake up in the morning, and you may have just spent most of your battery in the process. By using the hidden ‘ Stop Playing ‘ timer, you can choose how long you want your music to play when you fall asleep.
Open the Clock app’s Timer tab. (You can go directly to this from Control Center: Tap the stylish watch face.) Choose how long you want your timer to last and then tap ‘ When Timer Ends ‘. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select ‘ Stop playing ‘.
Press start on the timer and then start playing your music from the music application. When the timer expires, the music stops. This trick will also work for audiobooks and other media.
Search music by lyrics
In iOS 12 you have an additional option to search for tracks with any phase of lyrics stuck to your head since you heard them on the radio this morning.
Just open the Music app and type the words in the search field.
It should work even if you don’t have all the words, but the longer the phrase you type the more likely it will be to give the correct result.
You can also ask Siri the same questions without typing anything.
Get your iPhone flash flashing when you receive a message
If you find that the vibration or sound that your phone generates when you receive a message is not always enough to draw your attention, there are other elements you can add to the alert: light. By going to the general > > Accessibility settings and scrolling down to the ‘ Hear ‘ section, you can enable ‘ LED Flash for Alerts ‘.
Now every time you receive a notification, the flash next to your iPhone’s rear-facing camera will blink.
Find a word or phrase on a webpage
It’s easy to find a specific word or phrase on a webpage in Safari on iPhone.
While on the desired page, tap the top URL/search bar and type the phrase you want. You’ll see a list of search results from the web, the App Store and so on, but at the bottom of that list you’ll see a “on this page”, with the number of matches.
Tap, and you’ll see that the result is highlighted in yellow. Tap the arrows at the bottom of the screen to search for instances.
Use AirPods as a hearing aid
If you have a pair of AirPods, you can use the Live Listen feature in iOS 12 to turn your AirPods into a hearing aid.
- Go to control Center > Settings > customize controls.
Tap on hearing (under more control) to add it to your control center.
Now when you select this option in control center, it will enlarge the sound through your AirPods.
We can’t wait to try this so we can spy on what our friends say behind us.
Save a webpage to books
You can turn a webpage into a PDF and add it directly to your books app. This is useful if you’re reading a long Web document, or especially if you’ve found an online HTML book and want to save it.
When you tap Share, scroll through the app to find copy to books.
Tap it and the webpage will be converted and added to your book collection.
(Note that this option only appears if you have a book on Your iPhone! Otherwise, you can still save as PDF and add it to your files).
Change Siri Accent
English speakers have been able to convert Siri voices from men to women with a choice of three accents since iOS 11; iOS 12 Adds a choice of Ireland or South Africa as well.
- Go to > Siri settings & search Siri Voice >.
Here you can change the English voice of men to women, or change accents to America, Australia, England, Ireland or South Africa.
Speaking of accents, Siri can translate to many different languages for you.
In iOS 12 gained the ability to translate words and sentences into more languages – there are up to 50 different combinations.
We have a special article that shows you how to translate using Siri.
Supposedly a simple case says: “Hey Siri, how do I say good night in Spanish “, for example.
Ask Siri to do math for you
No matter how good your mathematician is, having Siri to help with simple and complex math questions is always useful.
Just open Siri and read your equation for it. If the number is complex, make sure you say it a little slower for Siri to not misunderstand.
We found Siri can also correctly divide, multiply, reduce and add, along with some slightly more complicated equations.
Create shortcuts for common tasks
In iOS 12 and later, you can group tasks together and trigger them with a single Siri command.
You must download the Shortcuts app from the App Store.
Open the Siri Shortcuts app and tap Gallery to see the finished gallery of shortcuts, such as Calculate Tip, Log Water, Make PDF, or Remind Me At Home.
Once you have an app on your iPhone, you’ll see suggestions of shortcuts you might want to use when swiping across your home screen-shortcuts can be found under your Siri suggestions of apps you might want to use.
Just tap the suggestion-which will be based on something you do often, such as sending a group text message, and you’ll be taken directly to the message.
Read all about Siri Shortcuts here.
Measuring many things
The new Measure app in iOS 12 makes it easy to measure object dimensions.
All you need to do is track down the edges of the object and it will tell you how long they are.
Open the app and you’ll see an option to move Your iPhone to get started.
Finally the circle will appear and the option to add dots.
Add points and the app will tell you how many centimeters are between them.
Measure app is also a new home of the Level app.
This Level can be used if you want to make sure the bookshelf you’re installing is really flat.
The IPhone uses its gyrosin to determine the surface level where the iPhone is placed. You will have the opportunity to calibrate on a flat surface before assessing the situation.
Turn on Night shift
Night Shift dimming the white color of your screen, to make your eyes easier in low light conditions.
You can schedule Night Shift to take place at the same time each day, or you can manually enable it until tomorrow.
You can also adjust the colour temperature to be more or less warm.
- Open Display > settings & Brightness > night shift.
Ask Your iPhone to read your text
If you request or want an iPhone to read your text, then you can turn on Speak Selection.
- First navigate to General > Settings > Accessibility and toggle the ‘ Speak options ‘ option.
If you want to long press on the speech balloon inside your message, now you will find the option to ‘ speak ‘ – this option is very useful if you have a long text message or decide to start driving and want to listen to the text while In hands-free mode.
See when a message was sent
In the Messages app, you can swipe from right to left to reveal timestamps of individual messages.
Normally you will be able to see the date and time of which the first message is sent. However, to reveal every message afterwards, you need to quickly glance at the timestamp.
It could be worthwhile to know how many hours the last message was received, or to find out if your friend lied about coming on time!
Calls from within messages
If you chat through messages and then decide it would be better to talk, you just have to tap the icon for the person you’re TEXTING to see the option for audio or FaceTime calls.
You can start a group FaceTime call from a group messaging chat-Imagine!